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In focus: Liam Manning

A profile of our new Head Coach...

13 August 2021

Following his appointment as Head Coach, mkdons.com takes a closer look at career of Liam Manning...

Having arrived from Lommel SK, Manning becomes the second youngest manager in the EFL at just 35. He has spent the last three years of his career working for City Football Group, spending time with both New York City FC and in Belgium with Lommel.

The formative years of his career, however, are a lot closer to home. Born in Suffolk in August 1985, Manning spent the formative years of his footballing career playing for the academy of Norwich City.

A midfielder by trade, Manning would move to Ipswich Town in 2002, he would spent three years at Portman Road and played alongside former Don Dean Bowditch during his time with the Tractor Boys.

Although he would leave Ipswich Town in 2005, Manning would look to pursue a career in professional football and moved to Iceland side Selfoss for one season – where he featured 18 times in all competitions.

Manning would return to his native Suffolk as he signed for Leiston, where he played under Jason Dozzell, a man whose son he would go on to coach.

Manning would return to Ipswich as an Academy Coach during his stint in Non-League football and would work with an Under-13s group that contained current Premier League striker Connor Wickham.

The 35-year-old would progress through the coaching ranks with the Blues and would eventually become their Under-16s work. His talents were in full display, with his team containing the likes of Andre Dozzell, Luke Woolfenden and Flynn Downes – a trio that have amassed 297 EFL Appearances.

Having impressed during his time at Ipswich, Manning was headhunted by West Ham United and appointed as their Academy Manager in December 2015 and would eventually become their Under-23s Head Coach.

During his time in the Capital, Manning played a key role in the development of both Reece Oxford, Grady Diangana and Declan Rice.

His hard work was rewarded in 2016 as his Young Hammers would life the Under-21 Premier League Cup, overcome Hull City on penalties.

He would find himself headhunted for the second time in his career as The City Group recruited Manning to become their Director of Coaching for the Academy in The Big Apple, before being promoted to Academy Director in 2020.

In his role in America, Manning oversaw an Academy that won the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Under-19 National Championship.

The City Football Group were impressed with his work and would hand Manning the job of Head Coach at Belgian side Lommel SK in July 2020.

The season before his appointment, Lommel SK finished in 6th position scoring 21 goals in their 28 games. Under the stewardship of Manning, Lommel SK recorded a third place finish and improved their goal tally by 29 goals as they finished the campaign with 50 goals score.

Manning now arrives at Stadium MK and becomes the clubs XXX Boss in the start of an exciting new era.


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